So Monday was National Siblings Day. My Facebook feed was filled with photos of brothers and sisters. I did not participate. I do have a younger sister, but our relationship is… strained. Actually, that would imply that there IS a relationship, and there’s not. I’ve tried. A few times. It doesn’t work. One person can’t carry a relationship, and frankly, I’m too tired to try anymore. Blood’s not always thicker than water, and life’s too short to spend time pretending to like someone.
That sounds harsh, doesn’t it? Saying that I don’t like my sister? It’s a truth, though. She’s not someone I would ever be friends with. She’s not going to change, and I’m not going to pretend that it’s okay. It’s not okay. Talking it out won’t accomplish anything. She doesn’t see a problem.
It hurts my parents. For that, I’m sorry. But not even for my parents, will I carry on a fake relationship. Aside from a couple of texts during a family emergency, we haven’t spoken in over a year. I don’t see that changing. As my kids have gotten older, they’ve finally started to understand the situation. I’ve never tried to keep them from having a relationship with their aunt, and I’ve never tried to color their view. I’ve raised my kids to make their own decisions, and they’re doing just that. If she wants a relationship with them, that’s on her. It’s not my responsibility.
It’s a long, complicated, but absurdly simple story how we got to the point of not speaking. I’m not willing to accommodate anyone who wants to be the center of the universe. That’s what it really boils down to. I could blame this or that, but the only thing to do is to take lessons I’ve learned on what NOT to do and apply those.
My daughters aren’t particularly close, but they’re also at opposite ends of the teenage spectrum, and let’s face it, 18 year olds don’t get along so well with 14 year olds. There’s definitely some bickering. Sometimes, there’s even yelling and door slamming. But there are other times that I hear them giggling together and telling secrets, and that lets me know that they’re on a different track than I was.
And should my daughters grow apart in the future, I don’t think I’ll be asking myself what I did wrong. My mother takes it personally that my sister and I aren’t close. I’ve told her repeatedly that it’s not on her, it’s on me and my sister, and no one else. My mother once said something to the effect of, “Can’t you just pretend to like each other?” No, I can’t. I’m not going to fake love for the sake of pleasing someone. I try not to be a hypocrite. Don’t ask me to be one.